Should You Take a Cholesterol-lowering Statin Medication?

Whether or not you need a cholesterol-lowering statin medication depends on the type of food you eat. High cholesterol is a choice you make at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In most cases, you can markedly lower your cholesterol by changing what you eat.

In your body, cholesterol is an important component of cell membranes, bile, and hormones. Remember, your body already makes all the cholesterol it needs. Animal products (meat, poultry, pork, fish, eggs, and dairy) raise your cholesterol level above normal. Too much cholesterol causes inflammation in the endothelium, the lining of your blood vessels, causing plaque formation and clogging of your arteries.

How Plant-Based Food Lowers Cholesterol

A whole food, plant-based diet reduces your cholesterol level, dilates blood vessels, and improves blood flow. When you adopt this type of nutrition, you reduce the inflammation in your system, allowing your arteries and tissues to heal. A whole food, plant-based diet accomplishes all of this without harmful side effects.

How Statin Medications Work

Cholesterol lowering medications work by blocking the enzyme your liver uses to produce cholesterol. Although statins give you good numbers, they do nothing to reverse the underlying disease!

Statins Carry Risks

Their side effects include the following:

Muscle pain
New-onset diabetes
High blood sugar
Headache
Memory loss
Abdominal pain

Additionally, some patients develop a false sense of security and believe that the medication gives them protection and a license to indulge in unhealthy foods.

Who Truly Needs A Statin Drug?

Certainly, if you have a very high risk for heart attack or stroke, a statin drug should be prescribed. However, otherwise healthy people with elevated cholesterol should start by making diet and lifestyle changes.

A whole food, plant-based diet, significantly lowers your cholesterol without all the harmful side effects. These foods also reduce inflammation throughout your body allowing it to heal. As you adopt this type of eating, you lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, and autoimmune diseases.

Statin drugs are not the answer for everyone with high cholesterol. A whole food, plant-based diet is a powerful, effective, risk-free approach, which not only results in great numbers, but also reverses the underlying disease.

Resources

Esselstyn CB, Resolving the Coronary Artery Disease Epidemic Through Plant-Based Nutrition. Prev Cardiol 2001 Autumn; 4 (4): 171-177.

Who Should Take Cholesterol-lowering Statins? Everyone or No One? https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2013nl/may/who.htm. Accessed January 19, 2016.

2013 ACC/AHA Blood Cholesterol Guideline. https://www.lipid.org/sites/default/files/BloodCholesterolReduceAtheroscleroticCardiovascularRisk.pdf

By |2019-05-29T13:45:52-06:00January 20th, 2016|Recommendations & Thoughts|0 Comments

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About the Author:

Dr. Carla Hightower, MD, MBA is a certified integrative health coach, speaker, and corporate wellness consultant. She helps busy people develop healthier lifestyle habits and use plant-based nutrition so they can heal themselves. She provides educational information through her health coaching services and an online course on diabetes. In addition she is an engaging speaker on the subject of plant-based food and healthy lifestyle habits that improve health, energy and productivity. In her prior career she practiced anesthesiology for 21 years. In the midst of that career she overcame personal health challenges by adopting a plant-based lifestyle. Also, she observed that most of her patients were suffering from preventable complications of chronic lifestyle diseases. From those experiences she is motivated to teach people how to take full control of their health through better eating and lifestyle habits.

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